What is e-Ink? And ow do a printed picture and an image shown on our cellphone or laptop display differ?
A little elementary science we must recall to understand that.
light is emitted from a light source like the sun. then when it reflects from an object, we see the object. That’s why we don’t see an object, say a printed picture on a paper.
But is it the same when we see this article on our smartphone display? LED displays do not reflect light from another light source. Rather they produce the light themselves. What we see in our displays are not real objects. They are the light emitting from the display in such a pattern that we see images. That is why we can’t read or see something form a paper or a real object in the dark. On the other hand, we see our phone display better in the dark. When we use our phone under direct sunlight the light from the sun hits our phone screen and then reflects into our eyes. We don’t see the screen (what the screen showing) so we have to brighten our screen to fight the sunlight.
Displays are so useful, we can see read articles browse internet or watch movie in the dark.
But it comes with a few but big drawbacks.
Poor eyes of this generation. Staring at the screens a large part of our day we suffer from eye strain, headache, and evidence says that this act harms our eyes. Reading books in the paper is way more soothing for our eyes than reading books in our displays. Anyone who still has or read some real books will claim undoubtedly.
Bigger is better. But there’s ongoing a constant triangle fight among screen size, battery power, and battery draining in our phones. Most of the battery power is eaten by our good new big display.
Then, we came with a solution way before these problems arose. Yes, we are talking about 1997 when in MIT Media Lab, 3 researchers made the first e-ink screen. No eye strain, little power consumption.
But this solution came with more drawbacks than it solved. Slower than any other kind of screen ever made. Years of researches couldn’t bring a color screen not until very recently.
So the screen wasn’t much of use. But the end of 2007 amazon came with limited use of this excellent invention. I call it limited because I am sure even to date a big part of people does not know about Kindle or any other e-ink ebook reader. It got popularity among only book worms who can not resist the temptation of reading books from real paper or something paperlike and at the same times luxury of taking thousands of books on the go. They don’t like it, they love it. But most of their peers don’t understand why they wasted money on something so….. not bright.
Here ends the first part of the Datalators e-ink article. Part 2 will be published next week.